Saturday

On a day where the wind was blowing from left to right at speeds of 15 to 26 miles per hour the odds of a pitching duel between the UTSA Roadrunners and the Texas A&M Corpus Christi Islanders were slim to none. Aside from the first three innings, the game was a pitching duel as both bullpens stymied the opposing offenses for a combined three runs scored over the final six innings.

Early on it didn’t seem the game would settle down as A&M Corpus Christi, 10-18 (2-9 SLC), used two walks from starter Kris Ruepke and a double from Martin Parra to go up 2-0 in the top of the first. The Roadrunners, 15-9 (7-4 SLC), struck back in their half of the inning thanks to an Aaron Powell Grand Slam that was carried over the right field wall by the high wind and gave the Roadrunners a 4-2 lead.

The Islanders would threaten in the top of the second but could not put any men across the plate. The Roadrunners would make the score 6-2 on a two RBI double by Michael Rockett. A seven run third inning by the Islanders was answered by the Roadrunners with Brett Aguilar, Lance Brown, and Ryan Hutson able to cross the plate in the bottom half of the third tying the game at nine.

From the offensive explosion of the first three innings came a more defensive battle over the final six innings as pitchers on both sides got into a rhythm. With the pitchers in rhythm the best the hitters could do was hope to get a good pitch and put it up in the wind.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, UTSA’s Ryan Hutson got a hold of a pitch and with the help of the wind knocked it over the right field fence to give the Roadrunners a 10-9 lead. The Islanders would tie it in the top of the seventh on a Jeramie Merak double that drove in Brycen Bell. The Islanders would regain the lead in the eigth when a Parra single brought Stephen Flora across the plate for the 11-10 lead.

The Roadrunners would threaten in the ninth as Powell would hit a leadoff double to left. That is as close as UTSA would come as Aguilar grounded to first and pinch hitter Eric Johnston and Brown both struck out swinging to end the game.

Following the game head coach Sherman Corbett spoke of the missed opportunities and the way that Powell has been playing of late.

“We weren’t able to get enough runs across the plate, they got big at bats when they needed to and shut us down at the end,” Corbett said. “Powell has had times where he swung the bat well his best approach is when he hits opposite field, the wind kind of took it, he swung well and we needed him to do that.

Corbett also remarked at how the game started and how it settled down as the pitchers found their groove.

“We had one tough inning in the third where we gave up a big seven run inning that got them in the game kept them in the game, then the game settled down,” Corbett said. “[Andy] Benedict gave quality innings and [Kevin] Clark was right there. The thing that hurt was giving up three lead off walks and all of them scored, as a pitcher that’s the things you have to eliminate you want them to earn their way on base.”

For UTSA there is the series finale on Sunday afternoon, with a win the Roadrunners will take the weekend series from the Islanders. A fact not lost on Corbett.”We have to come out and pick ourselves up and win a series tomorrow that’s what it is all about right now,” Corbett said.

Sunday A five run eighth inning from UTSA seemed to be enough for the victory especially with closer Zach Calhoon on the mound. It wasn’t enough as the Texas A&M Corpus Christi Islanders touched Calhoon for five runs and added another on Cody Graham to win 14-9 and take two of three in the weekend series.

From the start it appeared that the Roadrunner bats were still silent from the final innings of Saturday. The Roadrunners had no answer to Islanders starter Roy Ferdin as they could only muster one hit in the first four innings while the Islanders had no trouble taking it to Roadrunners starter Ryan Proudfoot who only lasted three batters, giving up two runs and getting no outs.

Casey Selsor came in to relieve Proudfoot and he settled in for three and two-thirds innings, keeping the Islanders down until they exploded for four runs in the top of the fourth inning. That was it for Selsor who was relieved by J.P. Holton. In one inning of work Holton gave up one run and one hit both coming when Islander Jon Reyes took one over the fence in left to put the Islanders up 7-0.

“There was never a sense of panic we needed some quality abs,” Head Coach Sherman Corbett said. “We knew if we could get a few hits we could stay in the ball game we chipped away.”

The Roadrunners would finally get on the board in the bottom of the fifth inning as Ryan Hutson got on with a one out single and eventually made around to score on a Marshal Davis single that got passed the second baseman. The Islanders would make the score 8-1 in the top of the sixth when Jeramie Merak crossed home on an error by second baseman Hutson.

The UTSA bats finally came alive in the sixth inning as Jose Hernandez led off with a no doubter homerun that cleared the left field wall. The Roadrunners would add two more runs in the frame as Aaron Powell and Ryan Rummel would cross the plate to cut the score down to 8-4.

A scoreless Islander half of the seventh, that included an amazing diving catch by right fielder Tyler Carpenter, kept the score at 8-4 but a leadoff homer by Davis would cut the deficit down to three runs. After Michael Rockett and Hernandez got on, Powell hit a double that drove in Rockett and brought the Roadrunners to within two runs with Rummel coming up. Rummel delivered and hit a three run homerun to give UTSA its first lead of the day at 9-8.

The lead would be short lived as in the ninth inning the Islanders would put six runs across the plate including five off Calhoon. With the win the Islanders, 11-18 (3-9 Southland), took two of three from the weekend and left the Roadrunners, 15-10 (7-5 SLC) thinking about what went wrong.

“Going into the ninth I thought we got them where we want them you got your closer out there and you got the lead after battling back from a poor start,” Corbett said. “I felt good putting [Calhoon] out there but we just didn’t get it done.”

The Roadrunners now hit the road Tuesday to play Texas A&M in College Station before returning back to San Antonio Wednesday to play the University of Houston. Corbett knows what they have to do.

“We have to find some guys to throw quality innings and keep us in the ballgames,” Corbett said. “We have our work cut out for us.”

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